CHAP. IX.] RHINOCEROS VEAL. 169
making wide sweeps to right and left with his huge horn, as you crouch down still and almost breathless, and with every nerve on the stretch.
He is off; you hear his deep blowing in the calm night; now his gallop ceases. The occasional rattling of a stone alone indicates that he is yet a-foot ; for a moment all is still, and then a scarcely audible "sough" informs you that the great beast has sunk to the ground, and that his pains of death are over.
The animals are picked up in the morning; but it is not very easy to find them. Spooring is, in most cases, quite out of the question, on account of the numberless tracks. The Bushmen jerked every particle of the meat of all the animals that we killed, excepting that which we used ourselves. I like rhinoceros flesh more than that of any other wild animal. A young calf, rolled up in a piece of spare hide, and baked in the earth is excellent. I hardly know which part of the little animal is the best, the skin or the flesh.
The Hottentots shot away a great many bullets at rhinoceroses, and did, I daresay, a great deal of mischief ; for they lie six or seven together in each shooting--screen, and blaze volleys at long distancesoften thirty or fo'ty yards--at the rhinoceros. The consequence is that they "bag " but very few, compared to the number that they fire at ; the others most likely linger on for a few days, and then lie down and die elsewhere. One night Andersson and myself were lying out together when a rhinoceros came, that I fired at. Something smaller was following at its heels ; but we could riot see what, on account of the shade of the dark bushes. It was a brilliant moonlight ; and we were foolish enough to leave our screen, and poke about after the animal, which luckily we never found. In the early morning Andersson went to look for the game that had been shot ; and first followed the spoor of the rhinoceros we had been seeking. He soon found the animal lying dead among the bushes; and he walked carelessly up, with rifle over his shoulder, when as he was just upon the animal, a full-grown calf rushed out from behind its dead mother right at him. He had a very narrow escape, for the creature brushed by him in the narrow pathway ; he was about as large as an ox, and his spoor was half size. Had we come upon them the preceding night, we should have run some risk. On one occasion a rhinoceros that lie fired at, brushed down the stones of one side of his shooting place.
If I were to travel again on a shooting tour I should certainly take a.larde opera-glass with me. It is one of the most perfect of night-